People who don’t work in PR or live in London
We all talk about 'getting out of the bubble', but it's harder to do than we think. I love chatting to mates who live outside the M25 and who have zero interest in my day-to-day to see what really grabs their attention. It's only when they reference something brand-related that they’ve seen (without any prompting) that I truly believe it's managed to 'cut through'.
As a long-time advocate of dancing in darkened rooms/a music agent and DJ in a past life, I always head straight here for a mix when I want to get my head into another, more inspired space. A well-put-together mix should be able to take you through a range of emotions, but with the personality of its maker running throughout it – just like the best brand campaigns.
My 'proper' creative pick, Jeff Koons is the 'holy grail' when it comes to impact – something we all want to achieve. From the sheer visual power of his works to the crazy amounts of money involved to the controversies that surround him, he is not only a talented artist but a masterclass in getting talked-about. 'Go big or go home' personified.
'The Social Animal' by David Brooks
A book which has stuck with me since I first read it, The Social Animal is a sociology/psychology-based look into what drives our behaviour and decision-making, based on the life story of two fictional characters. It provided me with a couple of 'lightbulb moments' related to my own thinking and is a fascinating read if you want to know why people do what they do.
The king of deadpan may seem like an odd choice, but I always have the title of one of his major stand-up comedy tours in mind when assessing my own ideas: "So What?" His routine effectively consists of spending 90 minutes questioning why anyone should care what we have to say. If we all asked ourselves this question a bit more, the PR world would be a better place.
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